New Delhi: Pakistan on Monday said India should strive to achieve higher growth rates as its economic rise will help the entire SAARC region.
"We in South Asia do believe that India does have a wherewithal and resolve to step to the plate and ensure that it achieves its economic goals because if India rises we are confident the entire region will rise with India," Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said at an industry chamber function in New Delhi.
He also said that it is important to create a level playing field and inter-dependencies among the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations stressing, "in my view these two constitute the warp and woof of modern economic diplomacy".
"This is specially true in the context of our region where politics often drums economics," Basit said. "So, in order to get out of this, we need to be more realistic in our perspectives because without promoting regional integration, one does not know as to how one would become part of the global supply chain".
He said he hoped that New Delhi would achieve its economic growth targets in the years to come. "Coming from SAARC region itself, we hope that SAARC also in the months and years ahead will achieve its targets," he added.
India is expected to clock a growth rate of 7.4% in 2014-15 and cross 8% in the next financial year beginning April 1. The 19th SAARC Summit will be held in Pakistan next year, Basit said.
"We are looking forward to work together to lift our people from the morass of poverty, illiteracy and disease because these are common challenges and common objectives. So we are looking forward to work hand in hand with other SAARC member countries to achieve our shared objectives," he added.
The bilateral trade between India and Pakistan stood at US $2.7 billion in 2013-14.
Besides India, SAARC members include Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka as its members.